Anyone that knows anything about Betsy DeVos will likely call her a reformer. She has a love of educational reform and her passion is kids and making sure they have their choice in education.
Betsy is the same in politics as she is in business. She loves to work hard finding ways to solve social issues in her community and around the country. She recently spoke with Philanthropy Magazine and answered many of their questions regarding her career, family, past and passions.
Role Of The Government In Education
It has been more than 50 years since school choice was brought up in the government. It has been 25 years since the very first charter school with school choice voucher systems opened the first school in Milwaukee. According to Betsy DeVos, she is very optimistic at the recent growth in school choice voucher programs. The amount of children now attending their local charter schools is astounding and continuing to grow each year.
Where It Began
For Betsy and her husband, Dick DeVos, their love of education blossomed from when they first supported a single school many years ago. In the early 1990s, Betsy and her husband had children that were still attending school. At one point, they found themselves becoming more and more interested in helping other parents at school that were having trouble paying for their children’s education. The couple quickly noticed how hard some parents were working just to give their children a good education. This is where their passion for educational reform began.
Start To Educational-Choice Movement
In the 1990s, Betsy became involved with a variety of charities. She ended up serving on two national charity boards to help expand the option of educational choice using tax credits and school voucher programs. Both Dick and Betsy became politically involved with helping to start the first charter school in Michigan in 1993.
In 2000, the couple worked to try and change tax credit-based scholarships and vouchers. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in their endeavors. They were devastated because they knew how many families in Michigan were so desperate for these options to get their children a better education. The state constitution in Michigan has a lot of restrictive language that makes educational choice very hard to change.
Betsy DeVos Meets Rapper Pitbull
Betsy and Pitbull are a pair that most would not put together. However, they actually do have some things in common. They both have a love of educational reform and both have helped to open charter schools. Pitbull helped to start a charter school in Miami, Florida. While Betsy DeVos was down in Florida visiting an all-girls charter school, she ended up having a meeting with Pitbull to discuss educational reform.
This was the third time that Betsy had visited charter schools in the state of Florida. She believes the state is a model for how school-choice voucher programs should be. She has also worked alongside Jeb Bush to support the national educational reform agenda. They hope to increase the amount of charter schools across the country.
Follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.